Who are we to one another? No one, really. Strangers. Two women in the world. And yet, we’re tied intrinsically by an organic thread. An invisible thread at once weightless gossamer and immovable anchor. Filment and root. I won’t dare let myself believe that my birth mother might have passed away, though it’s surely possible by now. That’s not the picture I’m willing to draw for this chapter of my story. And so, I ask myself, on this particular day of the year, is she wondering about me as I’m wondering about her? Is she remembering? Is she curious? What’s she feeling? And I ask these questions because I’m an exceedingly curious person, a voyeur, someone who wants to know all the details of someone’s story – their past as it defines their present and informs their future. So, here’s the thing: I’ve come to recognize that while I can tell one story about my life, there’s a whole other story that I just don’t know.
The not knowing can sometimes be frustrating, confusing, sad. On the other hand, and most of the time, I’ve found great strength from the not knowing – a strength that comes from feeling unencumbered, free, innocent, at ease to be whomever I want myself to be, as if an author creating a character from my imagination. And yet, on my birthday, the questions arise and, as if Samson knows that Delilah is picking up the scissors, my strength is momentarily tempered, revealing a tender spot for which I wish I might apply a soothing salve of a story that already exists, that I don’t need to make up. And I wonder, does she ever feel the same?
It’s my birthday and if I could, I would tell her that her baby was loved. And that the woman that baby became is grateful to be in this world, this life, and she’s been given experiences beyond her expectations which have made her feel secure and safe. Loved. It’s a happy birthday.
(c) emma d dryden, drydenbks llc